Category Archives: Read

What I’m Reading – February ’16 Edition!

Books

It just occurred to me that I have not shared a reading list with you guys in a while.  I go through periods of time where I am either doing a ton of reading or none at all.  Do you guys do that?  Lately, I have been seeing new books from some of my favorite authors so I am pretty excited about digging into them.  Here is what is on my list for this month:

Shopaholic To The Rescue

 

Shopaholic To The Rescue by Sophie Kinsella

Description: Becky’s father Graham and her best friend’s husband, Tarquin, have disappeared from Los Angeles saying simply they have “something to take care of.”

But Tarquin’s wife Suze who is Becky’s best friend, and Becky’s mother Jane, are convinced the two men are hiding something and are in danger—their imaginations run wild. They must track them down!

Hijinks ensue as husband Luke drives Becky, daughter Minnie, Jane, Suze and other favorite Kinsella characters across country from LA to Las Vegas in search of the missing men.

Becky feels deeply guilty about ignoring her father while he was in LA, in addition Becky feels her enemy Alicia is threatening her friendship with Suze.

Here's Looking At You

Here’s Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane

Description: The new novel from the bestselling author of You Had Me At Hello.  What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed? After the runaway success of You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane is back with a new cast of characters in her second book, Here’s Looking At You.  In essence it’s an ugly duckling tale.  Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion.  School doesn’t hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there.  Now in her 30’s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell.  But she is much-changed from the girl she once was – all curves and because I’m worth it hair – and no one recognizes her when she arrives.  Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again.  But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James – major hunk and Aureliana’s major crush back at school.  But alas, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior.  As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like…Full of Mhairi’s trademark laugh out loud humour, Here’s Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.

First Comes Love

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Description: In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only introduces a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads.
 
Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.
 
Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.
 
On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.
 
As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.
 
Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

 

By The Numbers

By the Numbers by Jen Lancaster

Description: Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce, she wasn t too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter s age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her middle daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she s trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago…
Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny s emotional and financial support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the sandwich generation, when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a Match.com date…

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Have you read anything lately that you loved and think I should add to my list?  Please leave it for me in the comments!  I am always on the lookout for something new!

Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge – Check In 2

 

Okay, so I have been totally slacking on my check-ins for the Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge.  This one was supposed to be posted last week and I forgot.  Sorry gals!  I am still reading and following along though so it is not a complete loss.

Here is my check-in for August:

* A YA book (mandatory!) ~ Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella  (See previous check-in for review.

* Non US Author  (mandatory!) ~ Woman With a Secret by Sophie Hannah

* A book that was recommended by a blogger  (mandatory!) ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin (recommended by Kristen)

* A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more ~ The Carrier by Sophie Hannah

* A book with a kickass female character ~ Divergent by Veronica Roth

I really liked this book.  I had seen the movie so I knew what to expect but sometimes when I feel let down when I have a character and plot already established in my brain and then try to see the book or movie afterwards.  This one did not disappoint though.

* A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) ~ The Martian by Andy Weir   UPDATE – I have decided to read Paper Towns by John Green instead.  I keep seeing the commercial for the movie and I think it looks great.

This one was strange for me because I had a blog friend that HATED it so much that they demanded a refund from Amazon.  I was scared to read it after that but I decided to give it a shot anyway and I actually really enjoyed it.  It was slow-going and not packed with excitement but there were certain parts that just resonated with me.  I took a screenshot of this page because I thought it was so true.  Life would be boring if we were all the same.

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* A book written by a comedian or celebrity ~ The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Furstenberg

* A book with a one word title ~ You by Caroline Kepnes 

You was great.  Thank you to Kari for recommending it.  It was so creepy and so detailed.  It made me want to delete all my details off the internet immediately.  

* A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge ~ The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (recommended by every blogger I know)  (See previous check-in for review.

* A book about Summer, with Summer in the title ~ Summer Secrets by Jane Green  (See previous check-in for review.

Okay, so I have four books left to go for this month.  I am actually halfway through one of them and on vacation this week so I should be able to finish up my list in time for the deadline.  I actually really love being part of this club and I am hoping that the K ladies will maybe put together a Fall book club!  What say you Kristen, Kari and Kay?

Guest Post – Oh, For The Love Of Stories

SUMMER YA READS

You may not know this about me, but I’m obsessed with books, YA books to be more specific. Of course, you don’t know that about me, I’ve forgotten to introduce myself, which probably says more about me than any introduction I could ever write. 

Hi. I’m Kari.  I blog over at “By Kari Parker”, no, I mean “Oh, For The Love Of Stories”.  I’m going through a name change, hence the confusion.  When I meet most people I pretty much pretend like we’re best friends because it makes intros less awkward (or maybe not).  Just ask Pam – first time we met we bonded over scandalous bus rides and weird Tinder encounters.  I’m also dictating this intro to Siri while trying to run and catch the subway, so sorry for any typos or strange autocorrect.  But also, you’re welcome for the laughs to follow (for autocorrect, I mean. I’m only think I’m that funny).

So as I was saying, I don’t know about you, but I associate summer with summer love, with falling head over heels in love and not pausing to second guess things, for better or for worse. And no one does that better than young adults. Now I know, most of you are probably mature, normal people who read adult books, but I’ve got 5 amazing reasons (in the form of 5 novels) you should let you inner 16 year old out these final days of summer and read a YA novel about the bliss of falling in love for the first time.  

  

 My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I’ve raved and raved about this novel on my blog and featured it in a giveaway because it is just that good. I can’t seem to shake this sweet story of Sam, a soon-to-be senior in high school, who has grown up looking over in awe at the Garretts, the huge family that seems to live such an exciting life next door. For years, she’s imagined what being a part of their word would be like and then one night, she’s thrust into the middle of it. My Life Next Door made me laugh, cry and fall in love with summer and all the possibilities the warm weather carries. It also made me want to be a Garrett. You can read me gushing about it all in this mini-review if you’re interested.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I loved this book just as much the third time I read it as I did the first time (I also reviewed it here). Anna and the French Kiss transports us to Paris where anything is possible, especially love. When Anna gets shipped off to boarding school in Paris, she thinks it’s going to miserable. But then she meets four friends, one of which is a super attractive boy with an adorable accent, and she begins to realize that maybe Paris could feel just as much like home. It’s a charming, feel good story, Perkins perfectly capturing what it’s like the fall in love.  

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Earlier this week, I breezed through this novel in less than 24 hours and then reviewed it hours later because it was just that good. Right as summer begins, Emily’s best friend Sloane disappears without a warning, leaving only a to-do list behind. Everything on the list are things that Emily would never do, but hoping that Sloane will be at the end of it all, Emily embarks on an adventure to complete all 13 things, meeting unlikely accomplices along the way. Since You’ve Been Gone is the perfect novel about defining friendship, falling in love and finding yourself all in the same magical summer.   

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen explores the the damage of a single phrase “I’m fine”, mostly uttered at times when the speaker is in fact not fine. Out of habit, Annabel Green says this all the time, insisting that she is okay although her world feels like it’s falling apart. When she meets Owen, a handsome loner with a penchant for telling truth, it makes her wonder if she can tell her own as well.  I read and reviewed Just Listen  almost 2 years ago and still think about it and what it really means to “stand in your own truth.”  

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

With a name like Rainbow, she can do no wrong. Eleanor and Park has gotten a reputation for being a sadder book, and while it is, it’s also extremely happy and can induce an extreme case of the fuzzies. It’s the story of two misfit teens who somehow find solace in one another and all kinds of awkward and so, so very cute scenes ensue. There are dark moments, but it’s an incredible story about love and how even teenage love can work miracles.  
All of these novels are unique in story, yet, they all remind me what it’s like to be young and impulsive and in love with the idea of love, almost as much as the actual falling. They all remind me that I may be an old lady, but I’m not so far removed that I don’t remember how wonderful it feels. I hope you find that these books make you feel the same way. Nostalgic, I mean, not old. I’m not a monster.  

What’s Hap-Pinning and Literary Ladies Book Club Check In

hap-pinning

Happy Hump Day!  Today I am linking up with Jessi and Jenn for the first edition of               What’s Hap-Pinning!

Some of the things that are happening lately are:

A Little Glitter
 

 I hosted my first ever link up and it was not a total disaster!  I literally was having nightmares for the few days before that I screwed up the Linky tool or no one would join in.  It wound up going well and I got to meet some new bloggers (which I love).   I am looking forward to the next link up on August 18th.  Hopefully I will not screw up that one either, lol!  Fingers crossed!

unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt1

Last weekend while home alone I snuggled up with Jeter on the couch and watched the entire first season of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  I was surprised at how funny it was.  I didn’t realize that Tina Fey was involved with it or I would have watched it sooner!

Bicycle

Another fun thing that we have been doing around here is BIKE RIDING!  T and I have been heading out after dinner.  Sometimes it is only for 15 minutes but I still enjoy it and I will take what I can get.

One of the major things that has been happening for me lately has been reading!  I am participating in the Literary Ladies Book Club hosted by Kari, Kristen and Kay and I am SO HAPPY ABOUT IT!  While I am normally a huge reader, I found myself in a slump over the Winter.  I could not find any books that I was WANTING to read.  I would download a few to my Kindle app and just leave them there for months to die.  I could not motivate to read.  Thankfully, through the Literary Ladies Book Club I have found a number of books that I have enjoyed and I find myself reading all the time.  It is wonderful!  

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July’s novel was Saint Anywhere by Sarah Dessen.

Synopsis (per Goodreads):

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents attention and lately concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behaviour culminated in and accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlour, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here, Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance, and here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time. 

My Take:

 Overall, I enjoyed it.  I had not read anything from this author before but I like her style.  I found myself invested in the characters (especially Sydney/Mac relationship).  An important message that I took from this story was that our actions affect our loved ones more than we sometimes consider.  I felt there were parts that could have been fleshed out more.  For instance, I would have liked to have read more about the David Ibarra visit instead of just having the book cut off.  In my opinion it ended very suddenly.  Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book and would read more from this author.  

 What’s happening with you guys lately?  How is your Summer going?

Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge Check-In!

 

So, I am a little late on my check-in since I was on hiatus on the 21st but I AM participating in the challenge and have been doing my reading like a good girl.  I am a reader by nature but this challenge is helping me to be more intentional about what and when I am reading and I love that!  Here is my progress so far:

* A YA book (mandatory!) ~ Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

This book was okay.  It is a YA book so it is a little different than Sophie Kinsella’s usual writing style.  The characters were younger kids and I could not really relate to them.  I did not love it as much as some of her other books.  My personal favorite by her is Remember Me?  If you haven’t read that yet you definitely should!

* Non US Author  (mandatory!) ~ Woman With a Secret by Sophie Hannah

* A book that was recommended by a blogger  (mandatory!) ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin (recommended by Kristen)

* A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more ~ The Carrier by Sophie Hannah

* A book with a kickass female character ~ Divergent by Veronica Roth

* A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) ~ The Martian by Andy Weir   UPDATE – I have decided to read Paper Towns by John Green instead.  I keep seeing the commercial for the movie and I think it looks great.

* A book written by a comedian or celebrity ~ The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Furstenberg

* A book with a one word title ~ You by Caroline Kepnes 

* A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge ~ The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (recommended by every blogger I know)

Okay, so TGOTT…I know that EVERYONE and their Mother loved this book but I was ehhhh about it.  I didnt hate it but I was not obsessed with it.  I think that Sophie Hannah or Gillian Flynn do a better job at creating suspense.

* A book about Summer, with Summer in the title ~ Summer Secrets by Jane Green

Geez, as I am writing these reviews I am realizing that I have felt lukewarm about all the books I have read so far during this challenge.  Unfortunately, Summer Secrets was no exception.  It was good but I was not obsessed with it.  They style reminded me very much of Saving Grace and I didn’t really find myself relating too much to the main character.  I was not emotionally invested in her.  It could have ended with her falling off a bridge at the end and I would not have cared.  

I am pretty much done with Divergent though and I really love it.  Even though I have seen the movie the book doesn’t feel too repetitive.  

Next I am going to read Paper Towns.  

Where are you guys in the challenge?  Have you discovered any new authors or any books that you recommend?